Recently, two different friends have insisted I check out two different items in the news. Because I trust my friends, i followed their advice. They were right!! These were two of the most inspirational stories I’ve seen in quite some time.
The first is about Leah Katz-Hernandez, a woman who is totally deaf, and has recently be hired to be the West Wing White House receptionist or the receptionist of the United States. Deaf? Really? And it is even more inspiring when you find that she actually applied for the job BELIEVING she was well qualified and had the ability to do the best job ever. Maybe you’d like to read about this here.
The second had to do with a contestant on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars”. I confess this is not something I typically watch, but my curiosity was peaked. Frankly I was awestruck by Noah Galloway. He is an Iraq Army vet who returned home a double amputee. Can you imagine how he dares to think he can compete and expecting to be awarded the “best dancer “trophy? Watch Noah in action here.
Certainly Noah & Leah have valid reasons to use their disabilities to lower the bar in terms of what they might achieve. And yet they didn’t do that! Why? They BELIEVED they were totally up to it. The impact on me was to realize how we set our goals on the basis of what we believe we’re capable of doing. Too often those beliefs that are not founded on concrete facts. Rather, they are assumptions we’ve made or conclusions we’ve reached from our own experiences. Or, because others have told us we “can’t” and we’ve listened.
Let’s look at this related to your success in your job.
- You accept things you deal with as being ‘just the way it is’. And with that conclusion, you often find yourself frustrated and negative.
- You have believed something so long that it is ingrained in your mind, regardless whether it has a basis in fact. In a weird way, you become comfortable operating in an environment where your “belief” is alive and well. (I could NEVER be promoted. I could NEVER learn that computer program. The boss just doesn’t like me.)
- Some ingrained beliefs so control us that to change them seems almost impossible. We just “believe” we need to live with them. Things like there’s a limit to what I deserve to have, or I need to accept my ‘lot’ in life.
So, if we were to take a good, honest look at ourselves, it’s very likely we will come to realize we have beliefs that are unproven and do, in fact, limit us in meaningful ways. What can we do? Three things can make a difference and break through the limiting obstacles:
- Recognize that the beliefs you have in many cases are not proven as truths and that they do not need to define us. If you see yourself as one who has been shy while growing up, you might challenge yourself to step out more – to take a class or read a book on how to meet friends. If you believe you never liked math as a student, chances are you carry that belief into your job or avoid jobs that will require working with numbers/figures. Again, challenge yourself in manageable ways to bust that false belief.
- Truly question things that you feel you know with certainty … and you’re likely to discover that there is much more flexibility than you think. Things that you ‘know’ are required often turns out to have negotiating room. Really question things that you think are definite, rigid or even possible. Be open & curious.
- Be willing to test the assumptions that you are allowing to inform and guide you. Without a willingness to put them to the test, breaking out of this limiting trap is unrealistic and you have much less of a chance of bringing about a change. You are not testing to prove the belief. Rather you’re testing it to try and disprove it.
Think a moment about the deaf lead receptionist at the White House or the Army vet who thinks he can dance and is in there to win … double amputee and all. Obviously they have successfully gotten beyond beliefs that would be very limiting if they gave into them. What’s the equivalent challenge for you? What’s the belief you want to bust? Try it. After all, you have only to gain.
7 Limiting Beliefs Keeping You from Living Your Best Life by Celes
How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs by Jonathan in Personal Freedom